Best method to apply thermal grerase

(Cross-posted in HomeBuilt)

What is the best way to apply thermal compound (dot, spread, cross, lines)?? Does it matter that it's an i7 chip?

Looking at this video, (2:13) the cross method appears best...

What method do you guys swear by ??????
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More about best method apply thermal grerase
  1. I just paint a thin layer over the entire surface using a small piece of cardboard, no idea if it's the best method but it seems to work pretty good and there's no air bubbles.
  2. I've been reading that a thin layer can easily create air bubbles. Tuniq's Website recommends two thin lines. But this seems like you might trap some bubbles between the two lines. Two lines are probably best for a core 2, but what about an i7. I'm leaning toward just the drop method.....
  3. Interesting video.

    When using Artic Silver, I use *three* lines of material, the length of each is half the width of the cpu while the width & depth are of "a grain of rice".

    These three lines are centered horizontally, and spaced vertically so that they divide the cpu into 4 equal parts. A lot of words - just means they are "spaced out" evenly around the center of the cpu.

    After looking at the video, I have a better understanding why Artic 5 needs to "cure" - heat probably allows the pressure to finish spreading the material.
  4. Three lines huh? That's good to know, I was worried 2 lines would spread out too far. OK, so I have an i7 using tuniq tx-2. Looking at the face of the heat spreader, with the triangle corner in the bottom left, I plan on following Tuniq's directions and placing two lines left to right (one above center and one below center). Does this sound just fine?
  5. Oops, tuniq's website shows the thermal compound getting spread with a credit card. From what I've seen this causes air bubbles.....
  6. I used the method recommended by Arctic Silver themselves on this page on the Arctic Silver 5 web site. It consists of applying one line of paste in the direction of the long dimension of the CPU chip and letting the pressure from the heatsink spread it out. It worked very well for me.
  7. There are as many different ways to apply thermal paste as there are types of heatsinks.
    I don't think it really matters as long as you get a thin even coverage. All you are doing is filling in any imperfections on the surfaces, so they transfer the heat. If you get it close to right, you won't have any problems. But what you do not want is it squeezing out in globs all around sides of the processor. More here is not better.
  8. I apply a small amount (2 rice grain's) then i spread it evenly with an old debit card on the heatsink and not on the actual CPU. This way there is no way the paste can get on the mobo.. It has worked fine for me since 1996.....
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